“Somewhere over the rainbow” Co-op unveils its first rainbow hearse at Brighton Pride

05 August 2017

Co op Rainbow Hearse Brighton

Co-op Funeralcare’s first ever Rainbow hearse is set to be unveiled this weekend.

Believed to be one of only two in the UK, attendees at Brighton Pride will be the first to witness the new vehicle. It is the most recent addition to Co-op Funeralcare’s growing fleet of 7 specialist hearses, now ranging from a Land Rover hearse to a 1933 Austin and a Japanese Buddhist themed vehicle.

Originally a Ford Cardinal, the hearse has been transformed with the full colours of the rainbow.

Its introduction to Co-op’s existing fleet was driven by a request that came through Brighton’s Funeralcare team, followed by a nationwide rise in requests from loved ones who want to personalise funeral services as tributes to the lives of gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual friends and relatives.

The multi-coloured launch follows on from a shift away from sombre send offs, a trend witnessed across the 100,000 funerals that the Co-op conducts every year. Data released by the Co-op reveals that this is set to increase in the future as almost a quarter (23%) of Britons say they want to make their last journey in a personalised vehicle*.

In addition to these findings, two thirds (66%) of adults say that funerals are becoming more of a celebration of life and almost half (47%) of UK adults would like their own funeral to be conducted this way.

Speaking about the launch, Martin Baker, Head of Central Operations for the Co-op said:

“Personalisation within funerals is something we’re seeing more and more of as families want to reflect the personalities and interests that our loved ones had while they were alive. If a request is possible to do and there’s a demand for it, our funeral directors and arrangers will do their utmost to make it happen.

“At Co-op Funeralcare we always listen to our clients’ wishes which is why we’ve introduced the rainbow hearse to our fleet, we’re hoping it gives more families the unique and memorable send-off their loved one would’ve wanted.’’

The new vehicle will be available immediately for funerals organised by Co-op Funeralcare and can be transported to any location within the UK where requested by a loved one.

It forms part of a broader commitment to equality and diversity at Co-op, not only within local communities but also via Respect; Co-op’s award winning, inclusive lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) network.

Notes to editors

*Based on consumer data. Consumer research was conducted by ICM among over 2000 UK adults aged 18 and above, across all regions in the UK.

Media Contact

Sarah Pyatt
Press Officer
07850 002 312

Alexandra Wilson
Press and Media Relations Manager
07540 641368

Images available upon request

You can keep up to date with the Co-op's Respect network by searching #PrideInCoop on social media @CoopRespectLGBT

About the Co-op

The Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives and has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Owned by millions of UK consumers, the Co-op operates a total of 3,750 outlets, with more than 70,000 employees and an annual turnover of over £9 billion.

Home to the UK’s leading funeral provider, Co-op Funeralcare conducts almost 100,000 funerals annually across over 1,000 funeral homes. Combined with its leading legal services business, the Co-op is also a national provider of later life products and services ranging from funeral plans, through to wills and probate.